If I Were the Last Man Alive
Chapter 14

Copyright© 2014 by Number 7

The next morning, I headed out to the Bartow Airport. Between commercial hangers and the new huge pipe warehouse, all the safe storage I could use was at my fingertips.

Having multiple storage areas was to my benefit. If there were other people around, violence was going to be a real danger. Having a bolt hole away from either house made a lot of sense.

For the next few days I stocked the airport lounge with all the necessities I might need in case of danger.

I picked up another expensive motor home. After outfitting it, I stored it in a large hanger against the day I might have to escape violent survivors.

The new commercial hangars had free hanging doors that slid and stacked out of the way. These hangars ran between 2,400 and 5,000 square feet and they were over twenty feet high. I could park five trailers filled with bottled water side-by-side in each one.

There were eight totally empty commercial hangers. Another twelve were occupied but the largest things in them were airplanes, which would be fairly easy to move. (The airport housed some very expensive toys —several Lear jets, Beech Barons and Kings.)

The terminal had a good solid roof and would withstand just about any storm. Here I would store paper goods, dried goods, pasta and the like. Bagged things like sugar, flour and oats would store safely there, too.

Bartow Airport had an excellent aboveground fuel farm and three brand new fuel trucks.

Amazing aircraft were now mine for the taking. And I wanted them all.

When I had finally gotten back to flying lessons, I went at it with a passion. Arthea made fun of my single-minded focus on it. I studied like a lunatic for the FAA tests I had to pass to get my pilot's license.

During my training, one of my friends at the airport suggested I buy the test book and memorize all the answers. I did and studied for weeks.

My efforts paid off. I took the sport pilot test first and aced it in less than five minutes. It was the easiest test I have ever taken. That gave me confidence to progress to the private pilot exam and then the certified flight instructor sport pilot exam. I passed the private test with room to spare and the CFI exam by one point.

When you pass each written test you win the right to a practical flying exam with an FAA examiner who thinks his job is to make you miserable. On my sport pilot practical exam, I flew with an examiner who had an ego the size of Nevada and wanted me to know he thought he was important. He did his best to make it tough. I was sick to death of him before he finally got out the airplane and gave me my license.

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